Month: July 2015

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Styling the Seasons: July

I’m just getting this Styling the Seasons in on time, right on the last day of the month… but better late than never as they say. It’s also meant, though, that it has given me time to reflect on the month and what it has meant to me. July has had its hectic moments and its calm interludes – a month of ups and downs, with sunny spells and absolute downpours. But what’s really made it different to other months is the amount of time we’ve spent outdoors – sharing al fresco picnics with friends, dining out on barbecues and escaping to the countryside, both here and in my second home, France. There’s been dog walks by the river, sunbathing in the park (and beach in Brittany), day trips to Brighton and much Pimm’s making. I’ve tried to bring little bit of that fresh country air and nature into the home for this Styling the Seasons, with some beautiful, delicate purple scabiosa (which I’ll just pretend I nonchalantly snipped from my balcony, but that was …

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Reading… MidCentury magazine

I do love magazines – I work for one aside from blogging, and have literally piles and piles of them at home, much to my boyfriends frustration (I just can’t bare to part with them, who knows when I might need that Vogue from 1999 or that Wallpaper from 2004…). The absolute dream would one day to set up my own magazine, which is exactly what Tabitha Teuma did with independent UK-based biannual, MidCentury magazine. MidCentury magazine provides inspiration to those who love Mid Century Modern furniture, interiors and architecture, and equips them with the know-how to buy and collect well – think timeless Scandinavian furniture, Brutalist buildings and retro designs. Inspired by the quest to furnish and renovate her own 1960s London apartment, Tabitha set up MidCentury magazine at the start of 2011, running it from the G Plan dining table at one end of her living room. She says: ‘I’d been working as the editor of an arts journal for a while and had been toying with the idea of starting my own publication. Having been a fan of mid-century design for some …

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Broste A/W 2015 collection

It’s been feeling very autumnal around here in London, we’ve had lashings of rain and blustery winds, all in July… so when I saw Broste Copenhagen’s A/W 2015 lookbook, I instantly identified with it: the cosy candlelight, the muted colours and dusky pink tablecloths, the rich velvets and natural textures. Here, in a beautiful Copenhagen apartment, understated dining table settings are dressed with vintage-style linen napkins and tablecloths, while minimalist brass cutlery keep it modern. Rattan daybeds, made of rattan vines grown in Southeast Asia, are dressed in luxurious textures in on-trend colours such as ‘port’ (deep red), ‘fawn’ (the dusky pink), ‘moonlight blue’ (navy blue) and even ‘rainy day’ (a peachy cream) – perfect for the past few days and on into autumn. They say: ‘We honour this season with lots of cosy nostalgic moments and classic Broste Copenhagen styles in a contemporary colour palette that has been heavily influenced by the Nordic nature. These colours and uncontrolled natural patterns add a touch of romance to the Autumn/Winter season. Colour combinations and surfaces consisting of deep warm colours and …

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Two iced tea recipes to cool down with this summer + GIVEAWAY

Thankyou for all your entries, this giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Sophie Ford! With this warmer weather (ok, a little hit and miss here in the UK…) I’ve been looking for ways to cool down without eating a tub of ice cream or gallons of iced coffee… I normally love a good ol’ cuppa, but come 4 o’clock I’m craving something ice cold, my solution? Beautiful, sweet iced tea that’s refreshing and healthy for you – win, win! I’ve teamed up with JING tea, a London-based company that imports the finest and rarest teas from Asia, and sells simple but elegant, hand-blown glass tea ware. Launched in 2004, JING sources leaves from China, Taiwan, Japan, India and Sri Lanka, and is now enjoyed in over 50 Michelin-starred restaurants (if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!). They invited me to try two of their teas – Jasmine Silver Needle and Jade Sword Green Tea – to concoct two cold infusions. I had been looking for iced tea recipes for ages, but as with most of …

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I wish I lived here: botanical-inspired bohemia in Sweden

I’m not usually one for a boho-look, with lots of patterns and frills, I tend to move more towards white walls and minimal furniture, but I love the look of this lovely boho home. I can just about handle that touch of William Morris ‘Pimpernel’ wallpaper because it contrasts so well with the sleek modern kitchen, with its clean white tiles and stainless steel units. The deep, russet shades are further picked up in the dark wood shelving and mis-matched, mid-century furniture. Who’d have thought it could work? I also love how this home has embraced nature, not just with the floral, earthy wallpaper, but with plants dotted around the place and wild-looking bunches of eucalyptus – like they’ve just gone into their garden and hand-picked some sweet smelling blooms. There’s little vintage touches which make it homely too, such as the old candlesticks and faded wall unit, even the ladder propped, just so, against the wall. Would you like to live here?         Images: Anders Bergstedt for Entrance

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Beautiful leather sofas by Swedish brand Fogia

Fogia is a Swedish furniture company that has been collaborating with carefully selected Scandinavian designers to create thoughtful pieces for the last thirty years. Central to their ethos is a commitment to quality and fine craftsmanship – ‘we created furniture that lasts. And is loved for a long time,’ they say. Furniture is manufactured by hand in their own factory in Gdansk, Poland and sold in their concept store at Finnboda Varv in Stockholm as well as shops across the world. Over the past year they’ve collaborated with Andreas Engesvik, Stefan Borselius and Note Design Studio on pieces ranging from sleek leather sofas and enveloping armchairs, to ash storage bowls and tables that seem to hover in the air. My favourite piece is this simple leather 3-seater sofa, called Tiki, designed by Oslo-based designer Andreas Engesvik. The thin and lightweight construction is comprised of a steel frame and solid beech, with bulbous leather or fabric cushions. Says Engesvik: ‘Tikis character is tied to the sofa’s top line and silhouette. The line gives a hint of something soft, tailored, which can …

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Swedish Summer at Heal’s 2015

Many of you will know just how much I love all things Scandinavian. Well this summer, Heal’s is hosting a Swedish extravaganza that is not to be missed. Swedish Summer at Heal’s, taking place from 27 July to 23 August, will involve a pop-up market showcasing Swedish designer brands alongside some of the country’s signature food, fashion and lifestyle. Eighteen Swedish brands will sell their wares, from furniture and lighting to textures, accessories and ceramics (House of Rym, Design House Stockholm, Skultuna and Swedish Hasbeens, to name a few), while there will also be networking events and workshops, including flower headband-making, Swedish embroidery and quilt-making. Ticket holders to events will also be treated to a cinnamon bun and a coffee – a little break in the day that the Swedes like to call ‘fika’. In fact, celebrating Swedish design is nothing new to Heal’s, following the introduction of Scandinavian furniture to the store, and the UK, in 1951, Heal’s hosted several Scandi events, including one in 1971 that had a smorgasbord on the fourth floor, a Swedish …

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Q&A with… Daniel Fairburn, founder and designer Out & Out Original

Out & Out Original is a UK-based online furniture store, founded by Daniel Fairburn, that believes that good design shouldn’t have to cost the earth. It creates beautiful, functional, ethically sourced and produced pieces using quality materials – some with a nod to industrial design, others referencing mid-century craft. Its latest collection, seen here, features sleek walnut and black leather alongside rich oak; cool Scandi greys and icy blue wool sofas and black-washed steel benches.  Founded by Leeds-born Daniel Fairburn, Out & Out Original was born out of his love of fine furniture and his passion for travel. Daniel was based in Saigon, Vietnam for eight years as a furniture designer for a Danish company and worked for big high street names (including IKEA and Habitat) before setting up on his own. Read on to find out a bit more about his journey and design process… What is your background, how did you end up doing what you are doing now? I left university in 2005 with a first class honours full of hope and …

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Travel: A day out in Brighton

At the weekend I escaped the city (along with a lot of other Londoners on the hour-long train it seemed!) and spent a day out in Brighton with a friend. It was a lovely sunny Saturday, the sun was shining and the sky was a brilliant blue – we walked and wandered around, ate and chatted over coffee, and poked about the vintage shops in the Lanes. Once we got off the train, we headed straight to the seafront, taking in the views of candy-striped deckchairs and breathing in the sea air. It was a typically British seaside scene – ’99 cones, the smell of fish and chips, carousels and well, ALOT of seagulls… A trip to Brighton wouldn’t be complete with a stroll along the pier, taking in a game or two, and a few pennies spent in the kitsch vintage arcade underneath the seafront arches. As it was busy and bustling, we escaped the crowds and headed to Kemp Town, a cluster of small antique shops and independent coffee shops to the east of the …

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Your Home Needs This #02: Alvar Aalto Stool 60

Hello, and hope you like the new look of the blog! It needed a bit of an update and I’m a little bit in love with this new wordpress theme, it allows me to do so much more. I hope you like it too. This is also my second post in the series ‘Your Home Needs This’, an (almost) weekly series profiling one must-have design object that is on my wishlist or in my own home – you know, objects and furniture that beautiful, but functional and timeless too (see the first post here, it featured the Vitra Toolbox). This week, it’s the turn of the stool 60 from Artek, one of my favourite pieces of furniture in my own London flat. It’s also by my all-time favourite Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto. Created in 1933, the simple, but perfectly formed, stool is based on a round seat and three quintessentially Aalto, bent plywood legs. It can be stacked up and is incredibly versatile, whether for a bathroom stool, bedside table, coffee table or dining chair. It’s the perfect height …